My Bible-reading plan for this year is a little different than most plans because it doesn’t go straight through from Genesis to Revelation. I am starting the year in 1 Chronicles, which is fine by me. Although all Scripture is equally profitable, not all is equally interesting, and I find the beginning of 1 Chronicles to be one of the less-interesting sections.
Anyway, yesterday I began reading about the extensive preparations that David made for the building of the temple. You may remember that David desired to build a house for God, but God quickly let him know that he had shed too much blood, and building the temple would fall to David’s son Solomon.
I have read these passages before, and I have read and heard commentary on the ways that David did almost everything for Solomon except start the construction. He organized the tribes of Israel, he got all of the materials together for the building … he even organized the musicians! (All of my fellow musicians can appreciate what an enormous undertaking – and headache – that must have been. I can get frustrated just keeping a small worship team organized…)
But today I read a verse that I had forgotten, 1 Chronicles 23:1 – When David was old and full of days, he made Solomon his son king over Israel.
David didn’t wait until he was dead to pass on the kingship to Solomon. He made sure that Solomon was secure in his position and authority before David was no longer around to advise him! He took care of the external foes as well as the internal ones!
David thought of everything. He wanted to make certain that his dynasty would continue so he did everything he could to make sure that this would happen – even turning over the country to his son before his death.
How often in our churches do we find men and women holding tightly to the ministries that they “have always done,” rather than letting others learn and contribute? I admit it – I like to be in charge. I usually have a certain way that I want things to be done, and it’s difficult to give others the opportunity to fail. Not to mention, I don’t want them to fail! I really do want to see others succeed when they step out and try something new.
And yet, God often calls me to set aside my way of doing things so that someone else can learn. I try to remember that there was a time when someone let me “give it a try” so that I could begin to learn how to lead. And I know that I made many mistakes along the way. Yet people were patient with me, and helped me grow in my abilities.
So, the question is: If you are in leadership in your church, what responsibilities could you be sharing with someone else so that they can learn how to lead? What one thing could you let go, so that someone else will have the opportunity to serve?
As with all worthwhile endeavors, letting go means a certain amount of risk. But, if that person succeeds, and then they teach someone else and that person succeeds, think about all of the wonderful talents you will be nurturing in your ministry!